Erie Steelers Fans React to National Anthem Protests - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Erie Steelers Fans React to National Anthem Protests

Posted: Updated:

The continuing practice of kneeling before or during the National Anthem has proven to be a polarizing subject.

Among the notable displays of protest last Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva made headlines as he was the lone member of the team standing outside for the singing of the anthem. His fellow teammates and coaches had made the decision to stay in the locker room during the ceremony so as to not show protest or support.

Villanueva later issued a public apology for the act.

To gather some local reaction ahead of this weekend’s NFL slate, we visited the Sunflower Club on Metz Street where local Steelers fans gathered for a viewing party of their game versus the Baltimore Ravens this afternoon.

“Politics needs to stay out of the one day we want to sit down and enjoy our NFL.” said Rick Carr, who served in the Army from 1972 to 1975.

Carr’s comment came after viewing the National Anthem being shown prior to the Ravens and Steelers game. This week, all members of the Steelers were present on the sideline and all stood up. The Baltimore Ravens all locked arms before kneeling in unison, they all rose before the anthem started.

In both the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as well as at the Sunflower Club, the response was a mix of boos that quickly turned to silence. Some within the club rose up out of their seats and removed their hats during the anthem.

In attendance at the club were Jim and Peggy Wozniak, grandparents of McDowell grad and current Pittsburgh Steelers running back,  James Conner. Jim Wozniak, a veteran himself, echoed the importance of standing for the anthem, but, has an understanding of what the players are trying to do.

"It's a privilege to play in the NFL and I think it's the same thing is that these guys know it and they're trying to bring awareness.” said Wozniak. “And they're doing it, maybe not in the right way, but I mean trial and error is everything. You're eventually going to get there if you keep trying.”

Both Wozniak's tell Erie News Now that they do not hold anything against James or his teammates for their anthem practice last Sunday.

For Carr, he says the Steelers made good by standing today, and he will continue to support his team. He  chose not to wear any Steelers apparel this afternoon, something he says was his own small form of a protest.

On the day, most teams opted to stand and  lock arms, though several players across the league did kneel.

The Steelers defeated the Ravens 26-9.

Current Conditions

Upload your own image or video

Powered by Frankly
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814) 454-8812
Business offices: (814) 454-5201
WICU FCC Filing
WSEE FCC Filing
Share:
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
RSS Feeds
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com